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Leonardo’s AW149 Common Platform Demonstrator, which is currently fitted with Safran Aneto-1K engines flew on Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for the first time on 12 November 2021 between Bristol and Yeovil, UK. During this flight, the aircraft ran with biofuel, manufactured from residues and waste from the circular economy, specifically used cooking oil.

The use of SAF, such as biofuel, provides an immediate CO2 reduction of up to 80% when used at 100% blend.  All Safran engines, including the current in-service fleet are already certified to operate with up to 50% SAF.  In September, Safran completed a successfull ground test campaign of a Makila 2 engine powered with 100% biofuel and is working hard on its ambition to enable the full use of SAF in the coming years.

Safran is proud to support the operation of this latest-generation helicopter in demonstrating the battlefield capabilities of the AW149 to meet the UK MOD’s New Medium Helicopter (NMH) requirements. Safran’s Aneto-1K offers unrivalled power to the AW149 allowing the aircraft to undertake an increased scope of missions in the harshest environments. The Aneto-1K offers unparralled responsiveness which, when combined with its increased power rating, provides the broadest flight envelope for the most challenging missions, particularly in a hot and high environment. The AW149 equipped with the Aneto-1K engine is already qualified and available as an ‘off-the-shelf’ solution for the MOD which would allow aircraft to be delivered in less than 24 months.

If the Safran-powered AW149 is selected for the NMH programme, a significant proportion of the workload associated with the production and support of the Aneto-1K will be performed at Safran Helicopter Engines UK, in Fareham.  Following the current model of engine support provided to the UK MOD today for its fleet of RTM322 engines on Merlin and Apache aircraft, Safran Helicopter Engines in UK would also expand its well established local team to provide day-to-day technical and logistics support.

Intended for civil and military helicopters, Aneto-1K builds on the experience accumulated from over two million flying hours of Safran’s RTM322 engine on demanding military missions and encorporates the latest generation of technologies delivering additional power and enhanced reliability.  Rated at 2,500 shp, it was certified in 2019 after an intensive test campaign of more than 5,000 hours on the ground and in-flight, and is currently a highly capable engine choice for the Leonardo AW189K and AW149.

AW149 Common Platform Demonstrator

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Safran is an international high-technology group, operating in the aviation (propulsion, equipment and interiors), defense and space markets. Its core purpose is to contribute to a safer, more sustainable world, where air transport is more environmentally friendly, comfortable and accessible. Safran has a global presence, with 76,000 employees and sales of 16.5 billion euros in 2020 and holds, alone or in partnership, world or regional leadership positions in its core markets.
Safran is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange and is part of the CAC 40 and Euro Stoxx 50 indices.

Safran Helicopter Engines is the world’s leading manufacturer of helicopter engines, with more than 75,000 produced since being founded. It offers the widest range of helicopter turboshafts in the world and has more than 2,500 customers in 155 countries.
 

  • © Leonardo
  • © Olivier Panier des Touches / Safran